Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
ACLS Leading Edge Fellow
Website URL
Gifted and talented, education, ability grouping, tracking, intelligence tests, exam schools, Boston Latin
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

About Me

Kimberly Probolus, an ACLS Leading Edge Fellow, is a historian whose research explores the rise and development of gifted and talented education in the postwar era, sitting at the intersection of history of psychology, history of education, and urban history. She earned her Ph.D. from the American Studies Department at the George Washington University. Prior to graduate school, she spent a year teaching English at a Buddhist middle school for girls on a Fulbright fellowship in South Korea. She graduated with highest honors from Smith College in 2011 with a double major in English and American Studies.

As a public intellectual, she has successfully worked with editors at the New York Times to promote gender equity. Having researched the patterns of unequal inclusion of women in the Letters to the Editor section, she persuaded those in charge to redress this imbalance. She wrote an opinion letter and was invited by the editors to come to New York to speak about this and other issues related to gender inequality to public audiences. 

Among the honors she has received are the Early Career Award from the European Society for the History of the Behavioral and Human Sciences and the Gerald Ford dissertation award from the Ford Library. Her research has been supported by grants from the LBJ foundation, the New England Regional Fellowship Consortium, a Moakley travel grant, the Jeffrey C. Kasch foundation, and the Rockefeller Archives. Her publications appear for both scholarly and academic audiences are featured in the Journal of the Behavioral and the Social Sciences, the New York Times, and a textbook for secondary school students.

She has taught classes at the George Washington University as both a graduate teaching assistant and as an adjunct faculty member where she designed and taught an interdisciplinary class on representations of Washington, D.C. in popular culture. Her teaching has spanned a diverse range of topics ranging from feminist theory to immigration history. She is certified as an instructor of writing in the disciplines.

She has served in a leadership capacity at the George Washington University as the Chair of Equity and Inclusion in American Studies Department’s inaugural Graduate Student Association and as an organizing member of Graduate Students United!.Her service work includes volunteering with the Smithsonian, the Smith College Alumnae Association, and the Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School in Washington, DC.

Recent Publications

Peer-Reviewed Articles

“Bright Flight: Desegregating Boston’s Elite Public Schools, 1960–2000,” Journal of Urban History (2020): web.

“‘Drawn from Alice in Wonderland’: Expert and Public Debates Over Merit, Race, and Testing in Massachusetts Police Officer Selection, 19671979,” Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences 54, no. 4(Fall 2018): 237-255.

Book Reviews

Stallings, L.H. Funk the Erotic: Transaesthetics and Black Sexual Culturesfor PALIMPSEST (forthcoming)


Cobb, Charles E. This Nonviolent Stuff’ll Get You Killed: How Guns Made the Civil Rights Movement Possiblefor CLA Journal (March/June 2015): 329-332.


Public Scholarship

“A Woman’s Plea: Let’s Raise Our Voices!” New York Times, January 31, 2019.

“Intersectionality: A Brief History,” in Gender Inequality: A Reference Handbook, ed. David E. Newton (Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 2019): 157-161.

“Men, You Need to Listen,” New York Times, February 16, 2020.

“Why Every Graduate Student Should Volunteer Off Campus,” The Chronicle of Higher Education, March 1, 2020.

“The Legacy of the 1968 Rebellion for Today’s Protests in ‘Chocolate City’,” Black Perspectives. (blog), June 18, 2020.

“Einstein’s ‘Relatively’ Surprising Test Results,”, July 28, 2020.

Media Coverage
Country Focus
United States
Expertise by Geography
United States
Expertise by Chronology
20th century
Expertise by Topic
Children & Youth, Family, Museums, Pedagogy, Public History, Science, Urban History